Tuesday, November 20, 2018

Nami Island (Seoul Trip Day 2)

Nami Island (Namiseom) was formed because of of the construction of Cheongpyeong Dam. It is a small half moon-shaped island, named after a grave which believed to be the resting place of General Nami. The general led a great victory against the rebels in between 1455-1468, early in Joseon Dynasty.

Nami Island started gaining tourists' attention due to the filming of several K-dramas, such as Rosy Lovers (2014), King of High School (2014), and of course, the one that brought the island into the eye of the world- Winter Sonata (2003). It is famous for its picturesque tree lines plant along the small pathways. The trees- ginkgo, cherry, pine, birch, and several more fill the island with beautiful colours in autumn.

The island is around 63 km away from Seoul. We can go there by bus, by car, by MRT, or ITX train. ITX train was our choice because it took us only 60 minutes to travel from Yongsan Station (in Seoul) to Gapyeong Station. From there, we took a transit bus to the jetty. The bus trip was about 10 minutes. The trip from the jetty to Nami Island took us around 10 minutes. We reached Nami Island at around 11:15 am and left  the island at around 2 pm.

Yongsan station is big. It can be reached by MRT Line 1.

We can buy ITX ticket online from Korail Website (Choose the normal type train, and key in the date, destination, and number of passenger to get the information about available trains). The frequency of ITX train is one per hour. If we cannot secure a ticket with seat online, we can always buy our "standing ticket" at ITX counter in Yongsan Station (upper left). There was no limit for "standing ticket". We bought standing tickets from Yongsan to Gapyeong at 8:52 am. We had no problem standing in the train (upper right). We reached Gapyeong Station at around 9:50 am (lower right). The transit bus station is located in front of the station. The queue was long. We took around 30 minutes to get into a bus.

The shuttle bus stops at the place with special bus stop signage (red arrow, upper left). From there, look for a tall metal tower (upper right). The tower is used by the zip-line to travel from mainland to Nami Island. The ticket counter (lower right) and the jetty are located beside the metal tower.

Nice view from the ferry.

Once we reached the island, we can see a convenient shop on our left and tourist information center on our right.

There are several attractions scatter around the small island, including fountain (upper left), stone artworks (upper right), ostrich farm (lower right), and a few rows of eateries and souvenir shops.

There are small hut resemble the "kimchi hut". Kimchi hut is the traditional storage place for the clay jars fill with kimchi. 

Picturesque Korean tea house.

The main attraction of Nami Island is its nature beauty- colourful foliage in autumn.

Walking paths with visitors busy taking their photos.

Trees are planted along the path.

In fact, the whole island is filled with numerous paths with trees line up beside them.

Stunning view with trees in different colours around the area.

Some of the trees are starting to shed their leaves.

It is not easy to take a photo like this elsewhere.

We can either walk, rent a bicycle, pay for an electric train ride, or take a electric cart to tour around the island (upper left). The filming site Winter Sonata is marked with signage (upper right). Food and drinks are sold on the island. We tried the sausage (lower right) and ice cream. Nothing special at all beside the food were more expensive.

While other people are rushing to Petite French and Morning Calm Garden, we took an afternoon walk at Gapyeong Town. We tried to get a ride at Rail Park (upper left). However, the departure time couldn't match with our plan (upper right). Anyway, if you plan to go to this place, booking in advance at Gapyeong Rail Park is recommended. We decided to roam around the local market there (lower right). There were stalls selling local fruits, snacks, clothes, fishes, and vegetables there. The things there were not cheap at all. Anyway, we saw the whole garlic plant for the first time in the market. 

We don't really watch Korean Drama or movie, therefore Nami Island is not a big attraction for us. The biggest attraction to us was the foliage with autumn colours there. We reached Yongsan Station around 5:30 pm. We  visited Namdaemun Gate and Namdaemun Market before we went back to our hotel. We will share our experience in our next post.

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